A good basset hound breeder should be willing to let buyers visit the premises, and meet the dam and, if possible, the sire of the puppies. The dogs should look healthy and be reasonably friendly, and the premises should be clean and comfortable.
Good breeders typically do not produce a huge amount of puppies. Buyers should see how often the dam is bred and avoid a breeder who forces his females to produce a new litter every year. Responsible breeders typically give their dogs at least a year off between litters, so the dog can rest and heal.
Responsible breeders health-test their dogs and are willing to share results with buyers. Basset hounds are particularly prone to certain blood disorders, spine problems and eye problems, such as glaucoma. Good breeders are also typically involved with regional or national basset hound clubs.
It's important that a breeder seems as interested in the buyer as the buyer is in the breeder. Ethical breeders care about the puppies and want to make sure they end up in good homes. The breeder should ask the buyer about his lifestyle and any particular goals he has for the puppy, such as competing in dog shows. The breeder should also be willing to stay in contact with the new owners and offer advice or guidance. Many breeders are willing to take the dog back at any time if the owner can no longer care for it.